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The Ballad of Jacob Peck by Debra Komar

Debra Komar’s The Ballad of Jacob Peck (Goose Lane, 2013) is a noteworthy attempt to resurrect one of New Brunswick’s earliest murder cases from the murkiness of the historical record and the well-meaning, but often inaccurate retellings of amateur historians over the decades. In the bleak early months of 1805, self-styled preacher Jacob Peck arrived …

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22 Murders by Paul Palango

Paul Palango’s 22 Murders: Investigating the Massacres, Cover-Up, and Obstacles to Justice in Nova Scotia (Random House Canada 2022) is an extremely detailed account of the mass murder of twenty-two people in the most unlikely of places: Portapique, Nova Scotia. The perpetrator, Gabriel Wortman, was on the loose for twelve hours, shooting rural Nova Scotia residents in …

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The Women’s House of Detention by Hugh Ryan

Hugh Ryan’s new social history, The Women’s House of Detention: A Queer History of a Forgotten Prison, is one of the most important books published this year. Equal parts true crime, queer artifact, American history, and societal critique, The Women’s House of Detention (Bold Type Books 2022) is a must-read. Ryan’s book details the history …

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Trailed by Kathryn Miles

Trailed: One Woman’s Quest to Solve the Shenandoah Murders (Algonquin Books 2022) by Kathryn Miles details the brutal murders of Lollie Winans and Julie Williams, who were killed in Virginia’s Shenandoah national park while on a hiking trip in 1996. The case has long since been cold, although the FBI and rangers from the National Park …

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Unmasked by Paul Holes

As one of the most anticipated true crime releases of 2022, Paul Holes’ new true crime memoir, Unmasked, is an unflinching look inside the career of one of the most well-known figures in true crime and popular culture. Holes’ memoir recounts some of the most famous and harrowing moments in his career alongside events in …

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Duped by Saul Kassin

Saul Kassin’s Duped: Why Innocent People Confess and Why We Believe Their Confessions (Prometheus Books, 2022) is a part of the growing body of literature that discusses false confessions, the psychology behind false accusations, and the injustice that is baked into the American judicial system. What I think this book is doing differently is explaining why false …

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